CBBM Lecture "The representation of pain in the human brain - neuroscientific insights and clinical implications"

by Markus Ploner, MD,

Heisenberg Professor of Human Pain Research,

Department of Neurology,

Technische Universität München

will take place on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 from 17:15 to 18:15 in Lecture Hall H1, Turmgebäude.

Host: Prof. Thomas Münte
Department of Neurology
Universität zu Lübeck


Pain is not a simple mirror image of sensory information but a highly variable subjective phenomenon which crucially depends on a broad variety of contextual factors. Dissociations between objective sensory information and the subjective experience of pain are common and can be therapeutically beneficial as well as pathophysiologically relevant. The talk will highlight principles of the representation of pain in the human brain as obtained by neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies. I will specifically show how flexible spatial-temporal-spectral patterns of brain activity subserve the translation of sensory information into the subjective experience of pain. I will further show how these insights can be useful for improving the diagnosis and therapy of chronic pain.


Professor Ploner studied medicine at the Universities of Cologne and Vienna and completed his doctorate at the University of Cologne. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher and was trained as a neurologist at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. In 2007/2008 he was a Feodor Lynen Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the University of Oxford. Since 2007 he has been head of a research group and a consultant of Neurology at the Department of Neurology at TUM. Since 2014 he has been a Heisenberg Professor of Human Pain Research at TUM.

Professor Ploner works on the representation of pain in the human brain. His research group uses functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography and performs complex time-frequency and connectivity analyses of brain activity. The objective of his work is to elucidate the brain mechanisms of pain in health and disease with the ultimate goal of optimizing the diagnosis and therapy of chronic pain.